U.S. President Ronald Reagan arrived in Ottawa today, marking...


OTTAWA -- U.S. President Ronald Reagan arrived in Ottawa today, marking the beginning of his first official trip outside the United States and the first visit to Canada by an American president in nine years.

But while the nation's capital rolled out the red carpet for the first visit by a U.S. president since Richard Nixon in 1972, Reagan and Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau were likely to have tough words in private over several bilateral issues.


The 'top priority,' Canadian officials said Monday, was the east coast fishing treaty withdrawn by Reagan last week. But the agenda also included the Garrison water project, the Alaska Highway gas pipeline, acid rain, the U.S.-Canada auto pact and El Salvador.

On Monday, External Affairs Minister Mark MacGuigan said Canada would not accept Reagan's decision to separate the two-year-old east coast fisheries treaty governing fish quotas from the boundaries question.

'We told them specifically we were not accepting it, that we did not agree with it, that we were protested against it and that we were profoundly saddened by it,' MacGuigan told the House of Commons.

'I'm not sure there is now any margin for the United States to change its position, especially given the fact they are only reflecting their belief that they cannot get this through the U.S. Senate. We certainly intend to discuss this fully with the president.'


In addition, Canadian officials want to discuss Reagan's approval last week of funding for the Garrison Water Project, which the Carter administration had set aside. A long simmering issue, it is claimed the North Dakota project threatens Manitoba's inland fishing industry.

Reagan would be asked also about reports he was having second thoughts about the guarantees Carter gave Trudeau to ensure that financing would be available to build the $24 billion Alaska Highway gas pipeline.

The key environmental issue was acid rain from coal-burning generating plants in the United States, which has killed all life in hundreds of Canadian lakes and rivers and threatens thousands more.

Canada is concerned as well about proposed tanker traffic down the west coast, an oil refinery in Maine and the extent of the U.S. commitment to the Great Lakes pollution agreement of 1978.

Reagan will likely be asked also to detail his proposed North American accord between Canada, the United States and Mexico on energy. Canadian officials said the plan would be opposed if it was seen to represent an 'energy grab' by the United States.

Trudeau and Reagan will likely discuss the 1965 Auto Pact which permits free movement of automobiles and parts across the border. Canada is running a large deficit in auto parts and would like to re-negotiate the pact.


On world issues, Trudeau was expected to inform Reagan of his opposition to U.S. involvement in El Salvador. Last week, Trudeau labelled U.S. military aid to the Latin American nation a 'mistake.'

Trudeau was trying also to arrange a North-South summit on the problems of underdeveloped nations for next summer in Mexico, but was being thwarted by Reagan's massive cutbacks in foreign aid and his reluctance to participate.

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